February 2005

2005 02 27
New Yorker’s Iraq coverage


Or most of it, at least. That would be useful if I were still, you know, writing for this blog.

Via Bruner Links Blog.


Nada (0)

2005 02 27
Bobo’s world


Would someone please take the time to explain Atrios’s running feature, “Bobo’s World”? As I understand it, Bobo is David Brooks, who has a silly and romantic salt-of-the-earth view of Red Staters. So as far as I can tell the point of the Bobo’s World series is to undermine that by holding up examples of grotesque and immoral behaviour from the Red states. Here’s the latest example, which simply links to the story about an accused serial killer being arrested in Kansas. Is Atrios’s point here just the completely juvenile one that, see, these people can’t be salt of the earth if serial killers walk amongst them? Or have I completely misunderstood the point of the series or the post?

I’m all for jeering a reductive stereotypes, especially the kind that the very silly David Brooks has made a career out of. I’m also not shy about jeering at states where, say, vibrators are illegal. But I’m just not sure this sort of jeering is terribly intelligent or effective. Is the fact that the serial killer in question attended church regularly really supposed to tell us anything informative about church-goers in Kansas, or anywhere else for that matter? Or what?

Set me straight, if you can.


Howls of outrage (2)

2005 02 26
Pushing reform in Egypt


Posted by in: Egypt, Political issues

Not a bad piece to wake up to:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday abruptly called off a planned trip to several Middle Eastern countries that had been scheduled for next week, a decision that came apparently because of the arrest of a leading Egyptian opposition politician last month.
[. . .]
The linchpin for Ms. Rice’s trip had been a planned meeting in Cairo of foreign ministers for the Group of 8 industrial nations and the Arab League to discuss economic aid and democratic change in the Middle East.

But that meeting was postponed by Egypt on Sunday in an early sign of the tensions that have been building even as the Bush administration has praised Egypt for its help in the Israeli-Palestinian mediation after Yasir Arafat’s death.

The immediate trigger for the tensions was the arrest on Jan. 28 of Ayman Nour, a member of Egypt’s largely powerless Parliament and head of an opposition party called Al Ghad, or Tomorrow. When Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit visited Washington last week, Ms. Rice made her displeasure clear, officials said.

After the meeting, Mr. Gheit protested that Mr. Nour’s arrest was an internal Egyptian matter, and Suleiman Awad, the spokesman for President Hosni Mubarak, said he rejected “any foreign interference in Egypt’s internal affairs.”

I’m sure that Egyptian officials are scratching their collective heads now and wondering just exactly how many people the Mubarak regime has to torture at the behest of the Bush administration for the Bush administration to leave Mubarak alone about the issue of human rights. Still, I don’t see how highlighting the plight of reformers in Egypt is a bad thing, and although I might come to regret it, I’m glad that Rice is causing a stink. The obvious hypocrisy hurts the effectiveness of the American pressure, but so long as the pressure doesn’t lead to the successful painting of the reformers as stooges for a neo-colonialist agenda, it looks as though the reformers could use a little external help here.


Nada (0)

2005 02 25
It’s a start


Posted by in: Political issues, Russia

Good. Let Putin stew on that, the sick fu*k.


Nada (0)

2005 02 25
A modest round-up


Posted by in: Odds and ends

Via Largehearted boy, Chomsky torrents for those of you who just can’t get enough Saint Noam.

Now that’s a nice welcome to NYC.

Also: Nice to know that Gordon Sumner still feels the pain of the world.

Start the day off right: “you can start your day by stabbing your least favorite person in the world in the face repeatedly as you make breakfast.”

Even more on Turkmenbashi’s birthday celebrations: Lambs were slaughtered, etc. etc. I’m sure a good time was had by all – or else death to the traitors!


Nada (0)

2005 02 25
Steyn’s a winner!


Posted by in: Canada, Pundits

My man won!

Via Backward Dave.


Howls of outrage (2)

2005 02 24
Lamest Bushism ever


They’ve really outdone themselves with this one. What the hell is wrong with saying what Bush said?


Howls of outrage (2)

2005 02 24
Canada won’t join missile defence program


Posted by in: Canada, Political issues

Thank the soon-to-be-militarized heavens.


Nada (0)

2005 02 24
More on Iraq’s Marshes


Sorry to go on about this, but I find it just fascinating.


Nada (0)

2005 02 24
Innuendo


Posted by in: Political issues

I’m starting to think that conservatives just don’t have much of an eye for sexual innuendo. Some anecdotal evidence here, here, and here. (The comments sections for the last two posts are essential.) Why would you, ahem, open yourself up to such ridicule?

Update: Another!

Second Update: And here (see #2)!


Nada (0)

2005 02 23
Picture


Posted by in: Odds and ends

Just try and look at this picture without snickering. Go ahead, I dare ya.

*Sigh* I’ve got a little talk coming up and I’m scared out of my wits. That’s why I’m reading Wonkette instead of Aristotle, of course. OK, back to work. Seriously. I’m outta here.


Nada (0)

2005 02 23
Wankers


Posted by in: Political issues

Tom Maguire drives me nuts sometimes, but, sorry, I think he’s just a bit too clever and a bit too honest to be the wanker of the day. This guy, on the other hand, really gets on my nerves sometimes.


Howls of outrage (4)

2005 02 23
No love from Dad


Posted by in: Odds and ends

For this poor fellow.


A single voice crying in the wilderness (1)

2005 02 23
Turkmenbashi


Mad as a hatter, no?

More here and here, where he is made an (always appropriate) object of ridicule.


Nada (0)

2005 02 22
Kimjongilia


Such a pretty flower:

Pyongyang, February 2 (KCNA) — Immortal Kimjongilia is now appreciated by people at home and abroad as a “flower of the sun revered by all people”, “valuable flower representing the times”, “the best flower in the world”, “king of flowers”, etc. This flower was awarded a special prize, gold medal, diploma and other top prizes at the 12th International Flower Show held in Czechoslovakia in May 1991, the Nordic Flower Show in Sweden in March 1995, the Jilin, China, Flower Exhibition in August 1997, the China 99 Kunming World Horticultural Expo in May 1999, the Begonia Show held in California of the United States in August 2004, etc. The facts go to clearly prove that Kimjongilia is the most beautiful flower in the world.
The flower received the top “Grand” prize and diploma at the China 99 Kunming World Horticultural Expo, the largest in the world, as it brought together 69 countries and 26 international bodies.
It also won the first prize ribbon at the Begonia Show in California where on display were flowers of various species belonging to the begonia family cultivated by at least 60 flower production units and organizations, horticulturists and flower lovers. Kimjongilia was formally registered as new variety No. 991 by the unanimous approval of the jury of the show.
Amid the growing of admiration for this flower, Kimjongilia greenhouses were opened in different countries including China, Japan and Madagascar and Kimjongilia associations and Kimjongilia lovers societies were formed one after another in Asian, Nordic and other regions.
Kimjongilia is now being rapidly propagated in at least 60 countries to be loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Hat tip to my friend, Sudha, who has recently become obsessed with the North Korean news agency. She tells me that it’s hiliarious – until you remember that there’s a complete lack of irony in everything they write. And then it’s just chilling.


Nada (0)